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La Transformatione' » Upper Body » Arm Lift (Brachioplasty)

Brachioplasty, or ‘arm lift’ surgery, reshapes the underside of the upper arm from the armpit to the elbow. The surgery removes extra skin and fat to give a more toned and balanced appearance. Upper arm skin tends to droop with age and after significant weight loss or for a person suffering Lymphedema. Exercise may strengthen and improve the underlying muscle tone of the upper arm, but it cannot change any extra skin that has lost its elasticity. If you are concerned about the way you look or are thinking about cosmetic treatments to boost your confidence, there are alternatives. These may include lifestyle changes or learning to accept yourself the way you are.

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What is brachioplasty?
It is the medical term for an arm lift. It means arm (brachio) reshaping (plasty).

What is done in arm lift surgery?
The excess upper arm tissue, sometimes referred to as a "bat wing," is removed during brachioplasty. This is done using direct excision (removal by cutting) or a combination of liposuction followed by direct excision.

Is liposuction always done as well?
A: Depending on the level of correction needed, liposuction may be required to achieve the final desired contour.

Is arm lift surgery painful?
There is discomfort associated with all body contouring procedures. Most patients report that the pain is very tolerable. The great majority of patients are off of prescription pain medicine by a few days after surgery.

What type of anesthesia is used for arm lift surgery?
Arm lifts are usually performed in the operating room under general anesthesia. Additionally, many surgeons inject additional local numbing medicine in the surgical area while you are asleep to provide additional postoperative pain control.

Where is the incision made?
The incision will depend upon how much tissue needs to be removed and whether the tissue is near the armpit or lower down on the arm. The traditional vertical incision goes from the armpit to the elbow. If the excess tissue is limited to the top of the upper arm, you may be a candidate for a short-scar arm lift with a crescent-shaped incision in the armpit area.

Is there any scarring with arm lift surgery?
A: Yes, there is scarring associated with all body contouring procedures. Many physicians and patients believe this is the biggest downside to an arm lift.

Where is the scar?
A: In a standard arm lift, the scar is a straight line from the armpit to the elbow. It is placed along the inside of the arm. However, it can still be visible in short sleeve shirts and tank tops. In the short-scar arm lift, the scar is a curved line that can be hidden in the armpit.

How long does it take for the scar to heal?
Initial scar healing takes approximately two weeks. After that time, your surgeon will work with you on scar management including massage and topical therapies to minimize its appearance.

Who is a good candidate for an arm lift?
A: A patient in overall good health, who has been weight stable for at least one year and desires to improve the contour of their upper arms.

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